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History of SEO

What’s the lesson? Be authentic. Be real. Accumulate worthy and relevant authoritative links through white hat (grey hat?) methods.
05. Aug, 2013
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Zara Australian Business Profitable

  • Zara first opened it Sydney store in April 2011, and currently has six stores in Australia
  • In its first year Zara in Australia had revenues of $68.5 million with a net profit of $9.4 million.
  • In the year to January 2013, it had $106.8 million in sales with $18 million in profit.
  • Deutsche Bank’s retail analysts shows Zara enjoys a gross profit margin of 66.7 per cent in Australia, compared with group gross margin of about 60 per cent.


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Australian Online Comparison Websites

Here are the local Australian online comparison websites which allow visitors to compare health insurance, car, travel and home loans.

  • iSelect
  • Mozo
  • Finder.com.au

iSelect will be listing on the Stock Exchange on June 24, in its prospectus it is predicting an EBIT of $30 million for FY 2013 from revenue of $122 million. iSelect co-founder and executive chairman Damien Waller will have 31 million shares, valued at $58 million at the share listing price of $1.85. NineMSN will be selling its share for $113 million where it had initially invested $20 million in 2006.

The business model itself earns money from referrals from signing up people via their websites. Thus, the companies in this category are at the whim of service providers with business risks including changes in government, increased competition, and “adverse decisions taken by product providers”.

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Social Media Sins

Social media is about:
  • relationships and engagement with meaningful engagement
  • great content

I think this is a great slidedeck, although personally I think the same advice and concepts keep getting recycled and churned out about social media (as well as in SEO/SEM fields).

Social Media System

But how about providing something practical? Give me something practical I can do. Give me a system and I shall follow. Perhaps something like this:

  1. Sign up to a social media website which your target demographic is likely to be. For example: B2B would be on LinkedIn while young teenagers would likely to be on Instagram or Tumblr. You don’t need to be on every social media website.
  2. Engage your followers with content which is relevant to your target market. Contribute something great and awesome. Trigger discussion.
  3. Repeat step 2. And have a strategy or plan to continue engaging your current followers and to acquire more potential customers in future.

Realistic & Practical Social Engagement

In terms of realistic advice, it depends upon your target market and their online presence. In Australia, it depends on the industry that your client is a part of. If your client is someone who targets a large section of the general population – then you’ll definitely be an open target. I’m talking about banks, airlines, the government and groceries.

Social Media Fails

What have been some social marketing fails in Australia?

  • #QantasLuxury – where Qantas Airlines encouraged Twitter followers to use the hashtag in answering “What is your dream inflight experience?”
  • Woolworths had a ‘finish this sentence’ as a Facebook update on their page. It read: “This weekend, I can’t wait to: ____”
  • Coles also released the same on Twitter asking: “In my house it’s a crime not to buy _____”
  • The Australian Labor Party had a twitter hashtag called #cashforyou to promote the Federal Government’s School Kids Bonus. Twitter followers were more than happy to abuse.

Social Media in Australia

Companies which succeed at social media in the Australian landscape are typically those who respond to conversations with it’s customers in a timely manner. Social media is a conversation – most companies simply choose to use it as a platform to announce updates and news. The businesses which are answering consumer concerns, enquiries and comments in a timely manner (within a day or a few hours) are the businesses which stand to impress and gain natural referrals.

Think about someone following your company on Twitter.


  1. What do they want to hear from you? e.g. If you’re a clothing company – they’re following you to make sure they’re first in line for the new range.
  2. Why are they contacting you? They want to start a conversation to ask a question, complain, or give feedback. Be open and join in the social conversation. @Kogan (at the time of writing) at first glance looks very active and is engaged with followers – answering their questions. @appliancesAU seem to be only announcing news and updates and not engaging – although this may simply be because their target market aren’t interested or comfortable in communicating via twitter.


Brilliant Social Media Campaigns in Australia

Here is one successful social media campaign from Australia –  the one-off marketing campaigns which build a company’s brand recognition in a market. Here is an example of a great social media campaign: Metro Trains Melbourne – Dumb Ways to Die.

Slideshow is from The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins from XPLAIN

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What is SEO?

If you’re technologically up to date and know what S-E-O means, you can simply bypass this post. Seriously. It’s a waste of your time. I still come across people who don’t know what SEO means so I’ve decided to create a post to which I can link to. Create a post that I can refer them to read.

SEO is an abbreviation, if you really want to be literal, it should be written like: S.E.O but people just refer to it as SEO without the dots. And no it isn’t said like Seayo. It isn’t linguistically said like Sea-Yo. It is an abbreviation after all – it is simple said one letter at a time S-E-O. And it stands for Search Engine Optimisation. People who would be aware of this specific jargon would be technologically inclined people involved in the web development field or in the internet marketing / marketing industries. If you are in those industries and you aren’t aware of what SEO means then you aren’t on the ball aren’t you? The confusion often lies with another related term: SEM which is short for Search Engine Marketing which refers to paid advertisements on search engines.

It’s like being an electrical contractor and not knowing what ground means in reference to electricity or the significance of a positive and negative terminal. SEO had become an integral part of the marketing mix and will continue to do so while the internet keeps growing and and internet usage penetrates and pervades our time? Pervades our personal time?

SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. What does that mean? Optimising the search results – so the questions which need answering are:

  • Why do SEO?
  • How do you do SEO?
  • Who Does SEO?


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App Development


Over the summer I project managed an app project for my financial website. I was converting a Windows application (a stock trading risk calculator) which I created a few years back into an iPhone/Android app. It was an interesting experience which taught me a lot of lessons about project management, planning and systematic testing.


It’s now listed in iTunes and Google Play… for free!


What’s interesting is that plenty of websites aggregate listed apps in iTunes, such as my listing on ZDNet of my app.

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Internet Tax Campaign Dead In The Water

They never had a chance

Gerry Harvey and Solomon Lew’s campaign, also backed by the Myer group, to have GST collected on all Internet purchases from overseas, including those costing under $1000, appears to be foundering rapidly, with a major group of retailers now actively opposing the move.

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Talk About Inverse Traffic

I like comparing traffic between competitor websites. This time, let’s compare MySpace and Facebook. Talk about inverse traffic:

Bye bye MySpace.

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Speedlinks – Happy New Year

As I pack my stuff for a short getaway over the New Years I’ll leave this bunch of links to articles I was reading just before Christmas. Watch out 2011! Some new ideas coming your way!


Found this site: http://www.yodel.com.au/ It’s a company focused on reselling Google Ads. It’s not SEO, its SEM. Just think, a decade ago SEO nor SEM existed. One thing I’d be watching closely is how Facebook moves in the future as more people spend more time on social networking websites. But there will always be space for search engines as people use them to find solutions instantly rather than the referral – “Hey Look at this!” nature of Facebook.

I’ll be looking at the SEO business again next year along with a business partner.


ShoppyBag.com came from nowhere in November 2010. Just two months ago! Where the hell did they come from and how did they reach an Alexa rank of 21,015 instantly?

Its a social shopping network where you invite friends… what are they doing right which made them explode in growth?!

It says on their site:

ShoppyBag is a new way to shop with friends. See what your friends are shopping for, get new style ideas & share awesome finds with each other! Shopping is always more fun with friends, and now you can do it whenever you want. ShoppyBag is free to join, but is by invite only. Ask a friend to invite you.

They’ve been around with negligible traffic, but for some reason exploded on November. They make money from affiliate marketing.

Does anyone know why their traffic exploded? What did they do differently in November? There seems to be a few complaints about their emails? Perhaps that’s when they opened up their site to send out multiple emails?

Word Lens iPhone App

Babelfish for the iPhone. Amazing.

Cure Affluenza

• Strong family role models, particularly grandparents. Regular contact with extended family tended to reinforce the value systems of earlier generations.

• A commitment to family time — meals together, house and yard work, school assignments, or vacations, present an opportunity to nourish a child’s identity and pass along values.

• The role of a prosperous family business in instilling a work ethic in younger generations, and in keeping those young people close to home.

• A healthy respect for money and hard work, and an awareness that pursuing an engaging occupation and achieving one’s goals are vital to well-being.

• Emphasis on philanthropy, volunteerism and job creation. In almost every case, respondent families demonstrated a strong commitment to the welfare of others and worked to instill a social conscience in succeeding generations.

• Detachment from the urge to keep up with the Gettys. Several families bucked societal trends, shunning video games, excess consumption and exclusivity linked to high-income people.

• A willingness to let children find their own way, take responsibility, make their own choices regarding education and career, and learn life’s sometimes painful lessons.

From SMH

Pollenizer’s New Seed Fund

Involved in this fund are:

  • Scott Farquar, Atlassian
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian
  • Matthew Macfarlane
  • Stuart Richardson, Adventure Capital
  • Adrian Vanzyl, Adventure Capital
  • Matt Dickinson, Growth Angel
  • David Cooper, Deloitte
  • Mark Greig via Elevated Capital
  • Adam Broadway
  • Rob Antulov & Nick Gonios via 3eep Ventures
  • Chris Hitchen, Getprice.com.au
  • Alan Jones, The New Agency
  • Domenic Carosa, Dominet Digital
  • Phaedon Stough, MitchelLake
  • Tony Faure

Read more here


Our venture didn’t get into startmate but we did get some good feedback from some of the mentors. The shortlist of the companies which got in are here.

IRLgaming, Chorus, Bugherd, Noosbox and another unnamed company trumped the field of 86 applicants to participate in the first-round of the Startmate program, which was founded earlier this year by a collection of Aussies who have successfully commercialised businesses in Australia and the United States.

RetailMeNot Aussie Success Story

As his company’s RetailMeNot site was snapped up by emerging US media player WhaleShark Media for around AU$90 million, Guy King and co-founder Bevan Clark became two of Australia’s newest multimillionaires.

Read More here

Well that’s it! See you on the other side.

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